“Both our current diet and tendency to over-supplement
with calcium…makes getting enough magnesium almost impossible.” Carolyn
Dean, M.D., N.D. Author of The Magnesium Miracle
Very few people, unless they are scientists or biologists, give a
moment’s thought to what goes on at the cellular level in our bodies.
We have trillions and trillions of cells in our bodies, each one less
than a nanogram, each one performing enzymatic reactions, energy
transfers every millisecond. It is this nutrient dance in and around
our cells that is vulnerable to everything we eat and do.
Magnesium is a catalytic mineral that activates over 320 biochemical
or enzymatic reactions in the body. These reactions are defined as the
process that exerts energy or accomplishes an effect. There are only 7
macro-minerals in the body, and magnesium is ranked 4th in
terms of abundance. Magnesium’s multi-tasking properties is linked
to the way it partners with other nutrients. It’s like the team-work
mineral – aligning itself with other nutrients to help them complete
Why is Magnesium Important to Our Body?
Every muscle and nerve in your body relies on magnesium to maintain
normal function. This includes the biggest muscle of them all – your
heart – and magnesium also has a direct connection to the electrical
system of your heart, keeping heart rythym steady. Magnesium supports a
healthy immune system, some of it through it’s work with Omega 3’s, and
it has a crucial, yet rather unknown role of maintaining strong bones
and teeth. Magnesium is the mineral that activates the Vitamin D that
assimilates the calcium into your bones to help keep them strong. It
also regulates blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and
is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.
Protein synthesis is an enormously complicated process that utilizes
DNA, RNA, amino acids and ATP(energy) to form proteins, hundreds of
proteins a second in a cell that is functioning well.
Why is Magnesium Important for Health?
Magnesium’s multi-tasking properties are so diverse; that it’s
deficiency in the body is thought to be a key contributor to the
diseases described as Metabolic Syndrome. Metabolic –defined as the
chemical processes of an organism – and so named because the diseases of
Metabolic Syndrome - specifically Heart Disease and Diabetes, show
similar deficiencies at the cellular level.
Other activities among the estimated 325 enzymatic processes
attributed to magnesium include temperature regulation, activating
Vitamin D, the vitamin B group, Omega 3, melatonin, serotonin and many,
many more nutrients.
Why is Magnesium Important for Cells?
Magnesium lives in the centre of the cell, and with adequate levels,
keeps calcium on the outside of the cell where it belongs – until the
body calls for energy and then calcium floods the cell. Too much
calcium and not enough magnesium create an unhealthy balance, allowing
calcium to seep into the cell. Calcium in the centre of the cell is like
putting the body in a perpetual state of excitement. There is
ample evidence that tension-based conditions such as migraine, restless
legs, muscle cramps, PMS and even day-to-day stress can be attributed to
the troubling imbalance of too little magnesium and too much calcium.
Frequently Asked Questions.
The most commonly asked questions about magnesium can be found
below. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, Natural Calm
Canada’s Facebook page is a great place to pose questions or share your
story about how Natural Calm Canada’s magnesium citrate helped you or
someone you know.
Why does it say magnesium carbonate in the ingredients listings? I thought this was magnesium citrate?
Magnesium Citrate is a compound created by combining magnesium
carbonate and citric acid. This happens when you mix the magnesium
powder in hot water. As per Health Canada regulation we must list the
ingredients in their elemental state.
How Much Natural Calm’s Magnesium Should I Take?
Magnesium is a mineral very sensitive to it’s environment - your
body, your behaviours. The foods you choose to eat, the amount of
alcohol you consume, the prescription drugs you take, the amount of
exercise you get both physical and mental - all are significant factors
that directly affect how your body utilizes magnesium. Stress and pain
levels will also affect the amount of magnesium supplementation you
Diets regularly high in sugar, processed foods and animal protein
(such as steak!) will cause magnesium depletion at a faster rate. If
you are constipated, or not sleeping well – these two symptoms –
individually, but especially together - are the best indication of
One teaspoon of Natural Calm magnesium citrate delivers 205 grams of
magnesium: about half of what men need every day, and about 2/3 of a
women’s required daily intake.
Can I get the magnesium I need from food?
It is increasingly difficult to get the magnesium we need from food
alone. Our government reports that there are only 2 nutrient
requirements that cannot be met by diet and magnesium is one of them:
“Many Adults have inadequate intakes of magnesium and Vitamin A.”
This chart is from EatRightOntario.ca but there are many other reliable sources of nutritional information.
||Magnesium / (mg)
|Pumpkin or squash seeds
||60 mL (1/4 cup)
||60 mL (1/4 cup)
||60 mL (1/4 cup)
||175 mL (3/4 cup)
||50 g (1 ½ oz)
|All Bran cereal
||30 g (1/3 cup)
||83 to 111
||60 mL (1/4 cup)
||88 to 109
||60 mL (1/4 cup)
|Tofu (prepared with magnesium chloride or calcium sulphate)
||175 mL (3/4 cup)
||55 to 99
|Wheat germ cereal
||30 g (1/3 cup)
|Beans (any variety)
||175 mL (3/4 cup)
||58 to 89
|| 125 mL (1/2 cup)
||125 mL (1/2 cup)
||175 g (3/4 cup)
|Bran flakes cereal
||49 to 69
|Edamame/baby soy beans
||125 mL (1/2 cup)
|Potato with skin
|| 1 medium
||47 to 52
What are the Recommended Dietary Allowances for Magnesium?
Each tsp of Natural Calm’s Ionic Magnesium contains 205 mg of
elemental magnesium citrate. 1 - 2 tsp daily will provide the
Recommended Daily Allowance. Most people take Natural Calm’s magnesium
to bowel tolerance.
Remember that you may need more than the Recommended Daily Allowance to:
- overcome existing magnesium deficiency
- provide 1:1 ratio to balance the tendency to over-consume calcium
- neutralize acidic diets (animal protein, dairy)
- alleviate major symptoms of magnesium deficiency
Canada's Recommended Dietary Allowance:
- Children 1-3 years old: 80 mg per day
- Children 4-8 years old: 130 mg per day
- Children 9-13 years old: 240 mg per day
- Teenage boys (14-18 years old): 410 mg per day
- Teenage girls: 360 mg per day
- Young Adult Men (19-30 years old): 400 mg per day
- Young Adult Women (19-30 years old): 310 mg per day
- Men over 31 years old: 420 mg per day
- Women over 31 years old: 320 mg per day
Dr Carolyn Dean, lifelong magnesium advocate and author, suggests
that Adults consume 3-4mg of magnesium per pound of body weight.
Pregnant women and children should consume 4-5 mg of magnesium per pound
of body weight. Remember that the only side effect will be loose
stools, so adjust your dosage based on your body’s reaction.
Can I Take Too Much Magnesium?
If you take too much magnesium, as with vitamin C, the body will use
what it needs and eliminate any excess. The excess will go into the
colon, causing it to hydrate, where the only effect is stools that are
“loose.” Millions of people around the world use magnesium simply
because of e natural, laxative properties.
This would be the only side effect, and any "overdose" is safely
depleted through the kidneys. In fact, magnesium is completely depleted
from the body every 12 hours, requiring continual replenishment.
Caution should be taken with individuals who have kidney problems.
Because the excess is detoxified through your kidneys into your colon, a
weak kidney may not work well enough to properly excrete the magnesium.
People on kidney dialysis or who have severe kidney disease should
consult their physician before taking any magnesium in supplement form.
For people with IBS or loose stools it is recommended to divide the
Natural Calm magnesium into smaller, more frequent doses throughout the
Why is Natural Calm in powder form?
Vitamins in tablet form can be absorbed by the body, but minerals in
tablet form are poorly absorbed. According to the Physician’s Desk
Reference (PDR), only 10% of minerals in tablet form make it to the
body’s cells where they can do their work. This is why calcium is added
to so many foods today, but it is also why we can throw the body’s
calcium/magnesium ratio out of balance. Magnesium citrate powder
becomes ionic in hot/boiling water for fast, effective absorption, going
right to work at the cellular level.
How do I prepare Natural Calm’s Magnesium citrate powder and Calm Plus Calcium?
Boil your kettle and put ¼ cup of very hot or boiled water in a mug
or glass. Place 1-2 tsps, depending on your preference, into the water
and stir. Once the powder dissolves it will become clear (ionic). Drink
hot like a tea or cool it down with cold water. You may also add the
dissolved Natural Calm’s magnesium to any drink you like, except coffee
Is Natural Calm’s Magnesium citrate powder safe while Nursing / Breastfeeding?
Yes, Natural Calm’s magnesium citrate is safe while nursing and is
actually recommended. Dr. Dean’s book, The Magnesium Miracle suggests
that lactating/nursing/breastfeeding mothers should take about 600mg of
magnesium due to their increased need for more magnesium. Enough
magnesium during pregnancy will help with DNA formation of the baby and
help ensure a healthier, safer labour. Taking Natural Calm’s magnesium
citrate while nursing will help to keep baby’s magnesium levels balanced
and will not only help the baby sleep better, but also help prevent
When should I take Natural Calm’s Magnesium?
Many people like to take Natural Calm’s Magnesium half an hour before
bed for a great night’s sleep. People with any kind of chronic problem,
i.e. muscle spasms, high blood pressure and diabetes should take their
magnesium at least twice a day as magnesium is depleted from the body
every twelve hours. People with diabetes should take their magnesium in
divided doses throughout the day to help keep blood sugar levels
When I open my bottle of Natural Calm magnesium I find that the bottle is half full. Why is that?
Whenever you fill a container with a powder, there needs to enough
room to accommodate the powder and the air it is mixed with. The
weights shown on the bottles refer to the weights of the product in
powder form, so that 8 ounces is 8 ounces of powder, and the larger one
contains 16 ounces of powder. The powder settles once it has been
filled leaving the container partially empty.
Can I take Natural Calm Magnesium with medication?
Yes you may take magnesium with most medications. You should check
with your Doctor if you are taking blood thinners (i.e. Coumadin) as
magnesium naturally thins the blood. Magnesium should not be taken at
the same time as iron and antibiotics as they prevent each other from
being absorbed or properly utilized.
What are the contraindications of taking magnesium?
People who have severe kidney disease should not take a lot of
magnesium. Also people who have a really low heart rate (i.e. less than
50) and myasthenia gravis. Also anyone on blood thinners such as
Coumadin should consult their doctor as magnesium is a natural blood
Should I take Natural Calm Magnesium with or without food?
You may take Natural Calm’s magnesium with or without food depending
on your stomach. Most people like to take it on an empty stomach, and
the vast majority of consumers prefer to take Natural Calm in the
evening, about 30 minutes before bedtime. It is also well absorbed
when you take food.
Are there any side effects of taking magnesium?
The only side effect is loose stools if too much is taken. Magnesium
is a gentle natural laxative and also helps detoxify the body. If
loose stools persist, consider taking smaller doses more frequently
throughout the day.
Is Natural Calm Magnesium safe for babies and children?
Yes magnesium is required on a daily basis for everyone including
babies, children and adults. Children require 4-5 mg of magnesium per
pound of body weight.
What is the source of Natural Calm’s magnesium and calcium?
Natural Calm’s magnesium is extracted from ocean water. The citric
acid in both the Natural Calm Magnesium Citrate Powder and the Calm Plus
Calcium is sourced from sugar beets. The calcium is derived from
Limestone, where it is extracted as calcium carbonate. Then gluconic
acid is added to it to convert it into calcium gluconate.
Cramps and Spasms
Cramps and Spasms in the muscles is likely a direct result of excess calcium
Natural Pain Relief
Chronic Pain is one of Canada’s most common medical conditions and the least understood
Pain is a result of an excessive stimulation of a chemical in
the brain called “NMDA.” Magnesium works to settle NMDA without the
toxicity of over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications. It has been found
to lessen pain caused by severe pancreatic cancer and chronic pain
problems such as fibromyalgia.
Magnesium helps to dramatically reduce pain by relaxing muscles and
driving excess calcium out of the cells. It also helps by reducing
spasms and by relaxing blood vessels in the extremities that are often
associated with Raynaud’s Syndrome.
There are so many syndromes today that can be described as
tension-based. Magnesium’s job in the body is to calm and relax the
cells, easing stress at the cellular level and reducing tension. North
American’s love of calcium, where it can build to excess in all parts
of the body, is also a contributing factor in pain and pain
It is essential to maintain balanced levels of calcium and magnesium,
as too much calcium may cause pain, as will too little magnesium.
Dr. Linda Rapson, who specializes in treating chronic pain and has a
focus on nutrition as it relates to pain, believes that almost ¾ of her
patients who complain of muscle pain, cramps and fatigue are showing
signs of magnesium deficiency. “Virtually all of them improve when I put
them on magnesium,” says Rapson, who runs a busy Toronto pain clinic.
Dr. Rapson has been treating patients for more than 30 years and has
seen magnesium work in those with migraines, fibromyalgia and
constipation. “The scientific community should take a good hard look at
Magnesium deficiency reduces the absorption of calcium required for bone building
Osteoporosis affects more middle class countries than poorer
countries. The countries that consume the highest amount of dairy
products (USA, Canada, Sweden and Finland) have the highest incidence of
osteoporosis and poorer bone health, despite a major focus on
osteoporosis prevention and treatment. Hip fractures in elderly
Japanese women is much less than half that of western countries.
Osteoporosis is not an inevitable part of aging. It is simply the
body’s attempt to compensate for factors that are interfering with
normal biochemical balance and bone formation. Some of these factors
include poor nutrition – particularly a perpetual state of magnesium
deficiency, lack of sunlight exposure resulting in low Vitamin D, high
caffeine and/or alcohol intake, lack of exercise, inflammation, chronic
stress, some prescription medications – yes even those prescribed to
arrest bone loss – and highly acidic diets, which is to say an emphasis
on animal proteins, dairy and processed foods.
The western world’s fascination with calcium to build bone is sadly,
untrue. It’s true that the bone is largely composed of calcium and
perhaps that’s where the initial thinking started, but in reality,
calcium depends on other nutrients to do its work, especially its twin
mineral, magnesium. Simply increasing calcium without any other regard
for nutrient balance is now known to cause more harm than good.
More calcium does not equal stronger bones.
The Science of Bone Building & Osteoporosis Prevention
Magnesium stimulates a particular hormone, calcitonin, that helps to
preserve bone structure and draws calcium out of the blood and soft
tissues back into the bones, prenting some forms of arthrits and kidney
stones. Magnesium suppresses another bone hormone called PHT
(parathyroid), preventing it from breaking down bone. The balance
between PTH and calcitonin tilts too far toward PTH when we are
magnesium deficient which results in excessive stimulation of
osteoclasts, which causes net bone loss.
Your body needs to keep an exact level of calcium in your blood
stream and these two hormones regulate your blood by pulling calcium in
and out of the bones and putting it in your blood. Your body also needs
to maintain a pH of 7 in your blood stream in the same way in needs to
maintain 98°F body temperature and will do whatever it can to maintain a
perfect balance. Because calcium and magnesium are alkalizing to the
body, your PHT hormone will be stimulated by an acidic diet causing
calcium to be depleted from your bones.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) diet is mostly an acidic diet.
Protein, bread, soda pop, sugar and pastas are examples of acidic foods.
Many vegetables (especially green leafy vegetables) and many fruits are
alkaline (opposite of acidic). When we consume acidic foods, our body
gets more and more acidic. Because milk is high in protein, drinking
milk can often pull calcium from your bones to neutralize the acidic
effect of the body. You can check your pH balance yourself at home.
Ask your local pharmacists for a litmus test paper.
The imbalance of the hormones DHEA and Cortisol may result in
osteoporosis. When you are stressed, you body produces a stress hormone
called Cortisol. Cortisol will pull calcium from your bones. Cortisol
and DHEA balance each other out, if one is high the other is low.
Magnesium helps you deal with stress as you need magnesium to relax. Low
hormone levels in general can lead to loss of bones, which is why many
women start to lose bone density after menopause. Magnesium will help
combat the negative effects of stress which in turn will decrease
Cortisol in your body.
Menopause and Osteoporosis
Because magnesium improves the absorption of calcium from the
gastrointestinal tract, some health care professionals like to suggest
women take calcium and magnesium together at a ratio of 2:1,
particularly for menopausal women. It’s well known that the menopausal
years will decrease estrogen, one of the magnesium’s hormonal
‘partners.’ And along with lower estrogen, there are findings of lower
Prescription Drugs for Bone Building
Fosamax is part of a class of osteoporosis medications known as anti-resorptive drugs. These medications dramatically reduce bone loss, but in a disturbing way. The drug leads to premature death to osteoclasts,
the cells that break down and recycle old, worn-out segments of bone.
Bone breakdown and bone build-up, however, are tightly coupled, so that
just as bone breakdown is dramatically reduced by Fosamax, so too is new
bone formation. In fact, studies show that the bone-forming surface of
bone is suppressed by 60–90% with the usual dose of bisphosphonates.
It is far more accurate to call these prescriptioin medicines bone
hardeners, not bone builders. The results show up in bone density tests
as “improved”, when in reality, they have so altered the fundamental
composition of the bone that it eventually leads to higher risk of
fracture. These are the outcomes currently under review as the class
of drugs is relatively new.
Supplements for Osteoporosis (excerpted from “The Miracle of Magnesium, Dr. Carolyn Dean)
- Calcium: 500 mg per day
- Magnesium: 300 mg twice a day
- Boron: 2 mg daily (involved in Vitamin D conversion)
- Copper: 1-3 mg daily (for collagen cross-linking)
- Manganese: 5- 10 mg per day (stimulates the production of mucopolysaccharides, the organic matrix of bone)
- Zinc: 10 mg daily (important for bone matrix)
- Vitamin A: 20,000 IU daily (forms bone matrix)
- Vitamin B6 : 50 mg per day
- Folic Acid: 800 mcg daily
- Vitamin B complex: 50 mg per day
- Vitamin C: 1,000 mg per day
- Vitamin D 1,000 IU per day or 20 minutes in the sun daily (for calcium absorption)
- Progesterone for postmenopausal women under the advice of your
doctor and after hormonal saliva testing to determine deficiency of
progesterone: days 1-25, use ¼ tsp. of progesterone cream, rubbed into
the skin, twice a day; take a break days 25-31 (make sure the product
contains USP progesterone)
Excess calcium is a vastly widespread problem, as excess calcium
DEPLETES magnesium from the body, and as a result brings about all of
the symptoms of magnesium deficiency. At this point, it will be
unimportant how much magnesium you consume, but how much is left in your
body. If you feel your body is out of balance and isn't functioning
right (with some symptoms manifesting), it could be suspect that excess
calcium is the problem, especially if you have been supplementing it.
Remember calcium and magnesium need to be in the correct proportions
for your own needs; otherwise the calcium turns from a nutrient into a
pollutant causing heart disease, arthritis, hardening of the arteries,
senility, osteoporosis and calcification of organs and tissues that
eventually completely degenerate.
For this very reason excess calcium can become a real problem, while
excess magnesium, on the other hand, is not of any concern. Unlike
calcium, magnesium does not build up in the body, as excess is
eliminated. Excess calcium combined with low magnesium - a lethal
Taking more calcium will not fix a calcium deficiency, which is quite
evident from the statistics. It is magnesium that will handle the
calcium deficiency as well as the magnesium deficiency itself (it will
dissolve any excess calcium from the body, while helping any needed
calcium to assimilate). Calcium alone is useless and potentially
Natural Sleep Aids
A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book, Irish proverb
Among Canadians who have learned first-hand the benefits of
magnesium, a great night’s sleep is cited as the most appreciated result
of taking Natural Calm. In hundreds of testimonies, the restoration of
a good night’s sleep is appreciated the most. Insomnia can be the most
noticeable symptom of magnesium deficiency, and is often the most
definitive clue that your body is trying to tell you something: you
need more magnesium and how it is a natural sleep aid.
Melatonin, the sleep hormone, is one nutrient among hundreds that
magnesium activates at the cellular level. Melatonin production in the
body occurs in the pineal gland, but only in darkness. Efforts to
fall asleep should be made in a dark room, no televisions, lights or
computers. Lack of magnesium can result in over excitement and
nervousness, keeping the electrical signals in your brain firing,
causing you to wake up prematurely, or preventing sleep in the first
Sleep and Magnesium Factors:
- The most prevalent sleep disorders: abrupt awakening from sleep;
jerking and other movements enough to awaken you; talking in your sleep;
restless leg syndrome (RLS) may all be related to magnesium deficiency
- Magnesium supplementation has been a proven natural sleep aid both by helping you stay asleep and to fall asleep faster
- The hormone estrogen helps with the uptake of magnesium, so low
estrogen can contribute to magnesium deficiency which in turn can
contribute to sleep disorders
- Scientific studies on the efficiency of sleep (decreased episodes of
awakening and increased sleep time) showed significant improvement when
magnesium supplementation was introduced, especially for people
reporting episodes of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS).
- Increasingly, restful sleep is found to be an important contributor to weight management.
Typically, North American diets are heavily skewed in favour of
calcium. Not only do many opt for dairy products over magnesium-rich
plant sources, increasingly people consume calcium-fortified products.
As a result, the average North American consumes five to ten times more
calcium than magnesium. Calcium is a contributor to a good night’s
sleep, hence the proverbial warm glass of milk, as it activates the
amino acid tryptophan which in turn produces melatonin. However dairy
products are not the best source of calcium as they may be too rich in
the mineral and therefore obstruct the flow of magnesium, required for
melatonin activation. For most people, more calcium therefore is not
the answer. Better absorption of calcium through an adequate supply of
magnesium is a better solution.
Magnesium and Melatonin
If you have tried Natural Calm at bedtime for several nights in a row
and have been one of the few who has not experienced an improved
night’s sleep, it could be that your body is not producing enough
melatonin. Melatonin is sometimes referred to as the Dracula hormone
because it literally is only produced in darkness. Artifical light –
including television sets in the bedroom – are enough to inhibit the
production of melatonin.
Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment
Twitching that feels like “insects crawling around inside your legs”
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder of the part of the
nervous system that affects movements of the legs. For most, it occurs
most at nighttime when trying to sleep, and the interferences are so
great it interferes with sleep, so RLS is considered a sleep disorder.
RLS sufferers have strange sensations in their legs and an
irresistible urge to move their legs to relieve the sensations. It is
not really pain in the traditional sense, but “jumpy” “twitchy” or
"creepy crawly" feeling deep in the legs.
The severity of these symptoms can range from mild occurrences a few
times a year, to intolerable, where every night, they either can’t fall
asleep in the first place due to the incredible discomfort, or they
manage to fall asleep and then the intensity of the twitchiness wakes
them up. For about 60% of people, both the frequency and the intensity
can worsen over time.
Clearly the body is trying to say something is not right.
Treatments for RLS
There can be a feeling of relief from moving the legs, but this
generally only temporary. Certainly laying in bed kicking the legs
around, is not any way a treatment. For those with mild to moderate
symptoms, preventing these unwanted movements altogether is the
objective and it is possible. Many physicians suggest certain lifestyle
changes and activities to try to reduce symptoms. Others feel it may
be symptomatic of an iron deficiency although there are no clear
studies on this. Testimonies from Natural Calm users suggest without
a doubt, that RLS is due, at least in part, to a magnesium
deficiency. Hundreds have written to say that their RLS symptoms were
completely eliminated with regular use of magnesium citrate before bed.
Others benefit from the double-benefit of transdermal magnesium.
Rubbing magnesium oil or gel into the legs before bedtime not only feels
great, but over time the absorption into the blood vessels of the
magnesium should help alleviate RLS.
Lifestyle changes you can consider include
- Decreased use of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco may provide some relief
- Maintaining a regular sleep pattern can reduce symptoms.
- Regular, moderate exercise will help with sleep; on the other hand,
excessive exercise has been reported by some patients to aggravate RLS
- Taking a hot bath, massaging the legs, or using a heating pad or ice pack can help relieve symptoms in some patients.
Although many people find some relief with these modest adjustments, rarely do these efforts completely eliminate symptoms.
Prescription treatments for RLS
RLS is one of the leading conditions for which magnesium has proven
to be a literal overnight cure for even the most severe cases. It is
likely that a physician or healthcare professional may not even think to
recommend magnesium, and go right to the prescription pad. In that
case, beware that the remedies are very powerful drugs.
Some of the suggested Rx ‘solutions’ include benzodiazepines, opiods –
heavyduty narcotics designed for pain relief, anti-epileptics, and
dopamine agonists. Certainly try nutritional supplement like Natural
Calm before bed to replenish much-need magnesium before opting for any
of these prescription-based.
Magnesium for the Heart
The most important marker for impending heart disease is low magnesium to calcium ratio in the cells
The health of your heart – your body’s most important muscle –
depends largely on your lifestyle choices, especially when it comes to
food and drink. Once again, magnesium has a twin in heart health – and
here it is potassium – the two nutrients working together to spark
muscle contractions. Deficiencies in either or both of these nutrients
can result in an irregular heartbeat. But magnesium’s role does not
stop there. Magnesium has been called the gift to the heart; its
multi-tasking performance is central to each and every risk factor for
Here’s what magnesium can do for your heart:
- — Resolve the imbalance of too much calcium to magnesium in heart
muscle which leads to spasms of the muscle causing a stroke or heart
- — Prevent build- up of calcium and cholesterol in arteries and valves
- — Works as a natural blood thinner, whereas calcium thickens blood
The continued use of diuretics is another factor causing magnesium
depletion starting with the wasting of potassium which leads to the loss
of magnesium. Adding to the chaos, too much calcium and age related
factors involving absorption of minerals are known to cause low
Dr. Mildred S. Seelig, from New York, who after a long and
distinguished career in medicine founded the Journal of the American
College of Nutrition in 1982, was emphatic about the role of magnesium
in heart health:
“Most modern heart disease is caused by magnesium deficiency. A vast
and convincing body of research, largely ignored, has convinced us and
many of our colleagues of this fact. The diet of the industrial world is
short on magnesium, and this is causing an epidemic of heart disease in
the modern world.”
The risk factors for heart disease and diabetes are so similar,
clinicians and healthcare professionals have taken the group of risk
factors and named them: Metabolic Syndrome. Previously, this group of
risk factors was referred to as Syndrome X. Metabolic, a word that
refers to the biochemical processes that occur by the trillions every
day in our cells – is also what magnesium does best: 320 enzymatic
processes at the cellular level. It is not surprising that magnesium,
when consumed in recommended allowances every day - will minimize all
the risk factors associated with Metabolic Syndromes like Heart Health
and Diabetes. No mineral does more for less attention than magnesium.
Here are the 5 Risk Factors for Metabolic Syndrome:
- A large waistline. This also is called abdominal obesity or "having
an apple shape." Excess fat in the stomach area is a greater risk factor
for heart disease than excess fat in other parts of the body, such as
on the hips.
- A high triglyceride level or currently being treated for high
triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood.
- A low HDL cholesterol level. HDL is sometimes called "good"
cholesterol. This is because it helps remove cholesterol from your
arteries. A low HDL cholesterol level, or currently being treated for
high cholesterol, raises your risk for heart disease.
- High blood pressure or you are currently being treated for HBP.
- High fasting blood sugar. Mildly high blood sugar may be an early sign of diabetes, increasingly referred to as Pre-Diabetes
Magnesium’s work in the bloodstream – anti-toxin, blood thinner,
insulin transporter, plaque-buster, an electrolyte that moves other
nutrients in and out of cells, helps the body make and utilize energy –
are all co-factors in reducing risks for the development of Metabolic
Dr. Seeling, who passed away in 2005 but left the fabulous book, “The Magnesium Factor,” goes on to say:
“Studies have linked low magnesium with many of the major risk
factors for heart disease. Other studies show that the average Western
processed-food diet is lower in magnesium than is commonly acknowledged.
While several essential nutrients are imperative for heart and blood
vessel health, the vast research on low magnesium and its impact on
heart health has gone unheeded, so much so that much of the heart
disease seen today is a direct result of low magnesium consumption.”
"The most important risk factor for impending heart disease is a low
magnesium-to-calcium ratio in the cells. All the usual factors such as
high cholesterol, active type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance) and
hypertension (high blood pressure) can be the result of a low magnesium
status. Magnesium inhibits blood cell platelet aggregation, thins the
blood, blocks calcium uptake, relaxes blood vessels and moderately
lowers blood pressure. It has been shown to reduce the risk of coronary
heart disease and relieve symptoms in roughly 85 percent of mitral valve
Another author laments the lack of attention paid to magnesium – the
multi-tasking mineral in such short supply in North Americans:
Dr. Eades, author of 10 books with a dedication to low-carb living
believes that the entire Metabolic Syndrome is nothing but a
manifestation of a magnesium deficiency. He says, “Why are so many
people deficient in magnesium? Because there are no single foods that
contain huge amounts of magnesium, and because there is no single food
containing large amounts, there is no magnesium lobby. Look at calcium.
Thanks to the dairy industry, we are constantly told that we need to get
enough calcium, and we’re told right where we can get it. Milk and
cheese. Same with vitamin C. The orange juice people never let us
forget. Not so with magnesium, so no one really thinks of it. Another
reason that many people are magnesium deficient is that they drink
bottled water or softened water. In the old days everyone drank well
water or water from streams, both of which contain large amounts of
magnesium. Magnesium is removed when water is softened and it isn’t in
large amounts in most of the bottled waters that are available.”
Andrea Rosanoff, Ph.D. Co-Author of the Magnesium Factor, Director, Center for Magnesium Education & Research
Inflammation is the activation of the immune system as a result of infection, irritation or injury
Inflammation is an immune system response to an irritant. For
example, an ankle sprain will prompt the immune system to create and
send a protein called a Circulating Immune Complex (CIC) to the affected
area. The CIC travels down to the injured ankle and causes pain and
swelling. This is intended to prohibit and restrict further activity
and help prevent further irritation. This also supports fresh blood,
antibodies and vital cells flooding the area so that repair and healing
can begin. Next, the proteolytic enzymes are produced and sent down to
the affected area to help counteract the inflammation.
These same enzymes are responsible for fighting off bacterial and
viral infections, cleaning the blood, and breaking down scar tissue,
known as fibrin. All of these enzymes are mediated by magnesium,
meaning they perform better when adequate levels of magnesium are
present in the blood cells. When science states that magnesium is
responsible for more than 320 enzymatic processes in the body, the
production of proteolytic enzymes is just one of them. So if magnesium
levels are too low, the activities of these crucial biological
magnesium-sensitive enzymes will not work as they should.
Enzymes also break down scar tissue and fibrosis. Fibrosis is scar
tissue that builds up in the body and over time creates so much
restriction and strain on the organs that they can no longer function
properly. Enzymes also clean the blood of excess fibrin that causes the
blood to thicken, which causes blood clots, leading to heart attack or
stroke. Enzymes also help take some of the strain off of the liver by
keeping the blood clean. Enzymes are central to inflammation and the
fundamental supporter of enzymes is magnesium. Another catalytic
property of magnesium – modulating cellular repair via enzymatic
processes involved in inflammation.
Researchers have found that when magnesium levels are too low, there
is a profound increase of inflammatory cytokines, along with increased
levels of histamine.1) Problems with insulin metabolism
results in the inability to properly store magnesium, causing blood
vessels to constrict, elevated blood pressure, and coronary arterial
spasm, all of which can result in a heart attack. Atherosclerosis, a
progressive narrowing and hardening of the arteries is an inflammatory
Magnesium is at the core of the inflammatory process. Deficiency in
magnesium should be considered the first cause, yet magnesium is seldom
considered. Increases in extracellular magnesium concentration cause a decrease in the inflammatory response while reduction in the extracellular magnesium results in inflammation.2) In
fact, the presence of inflammation will itself deplete magnesium
levels, so supplementation when the body is battling and inflamed is
crucial. If there is not enough magnesium present at this time, excess
calcium will precipitate around the area of inflammation which will
cause rigidity and blockage of blood flow.
There are many factors that trigger inflammation. Internal factors
such as excessive levels of the hormone insulin (insulin resistance),
emotional stress, free-radical damage, viral, bacterial, fungal and
other pathogenic infections, obesity, overconsumption of hydrogenated
oils, periodontal disease, smoking, spirochetes such as the Borrelia
that causes Lyme disease, and some prescription drugs. External factors
include environmental toxins and radiation.
1) Am J Physiol. 1992;263:R734-7
2) Magnesium and inflammation: lessons from
animal models] Clin Calcium. 2005 Feb;15(2):245-8. Review. Japanese.
PMID: 15692164 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE
Natural Migraine Relief
Migraines and severe headache can severely impact your quality of life
Migraines, and headaches, such as tension headaches can be
debilitating. Magnesium can lessen the tension in those muscles and
help all your muscles relax. Magnesium also has a bio-chemical
partnership with serotonin – currently the culprit when it comes to the
study of the causes of migraines.
It’s no surprise then that:
- 66% of migraine sufferers have low magnesium
- Magnesium helps reduce the frequency, intensity and duration of migraines
- Magnesium deficiency will cause irritation and inflammation in the smooth muscles around the neck and scalp
- Magnesium’s properties as a natural blood thinner helps prevents
platelet aggregation which works to avoid the thickened blood and tiny
clots that can cause blood vessel spasm and pain
- Magnesium relaxes the blood vessels and allows them to dilate, reducing the spasms and constrictions that can cause migraines
- Magnesium regulates the action of brain neurotransmitters (such as
serotonin) and inﬂammatory substances, which may play a role in
migraines when unbalanced.
- Magnesium relaxes muscles and prevents the buildup of lactic acid, which, along with muscle tension, can worsen head pain.
Studies on the Magnesium-Migraine Link
Researchers gave 81 migraine sufferers either 600 milligrams of
magnesium or a placebo pill once daily for three months. After four
weeks, 42% of the group taking magnesium reported a reduction in the
number of migraine occurrences. As well, the duration of migraine drug
use significantly decreased among people who took magnesium supplements
- There is growing support in the physician community that some of the
most severe cases of migraines may actually be directly related to an
imbalance of key minerals such as magnesium and calcium.
Understanding Migraines - Why is magnesium is a natural migraine relief?
- A confirmed cause of migraines continues to elude researchers and
scientists, but many believe they are a result of drastic change in the
blood vessels. These so-called vascular changes are such that they
interfere with the flow of blood and/or oxygen to the brain.
- The triggers or causes of these changes to the blood vessels, or
vascular change are as varied as the individuals who suffer from
- A widely-held theory is that serotonin levels drop, causing
inflammation and pain. Because serotonin, also known as 5-HT or 5-HTP
is also know to regulate mood and a general feeling of well-being, many
prescription drugs for depression, designed to elevate serotonin
levels, may be prescribed for migraine sufferers. Many patients are
disappointed with the medications ability to either decrease the
frequency or the severity of their migraine.
- Magnesium – when present in adequate amounts in the blood vessels –
helps with the enzymatic conversion of tryptophan – the fore-runner
bio-chemically to serotonin. Magnesium therefore directly affects the
amount of serotonin found in the blood.
- Not enough magnesium = not enough serotonin. Any migraine
sufferer would do well to replenish their magnesium levels every day.
Increased magnesium can elevate your serotonin levels and that just may
help your migraines.
The storm before the calm – Natural Calm, the anti-stress mineral supplement
The body’s stress reactions were meant to protect us, but a
body in a perpetual state of stress can take an enormous toll on your
health. Most people are familiar with the two physiological responses
to fear that occur naturally in our bodies: fight or flight. But when
the body is in a constant state of alarm, the adrenal glands release
hormone surges, such as cortisol and adrenaline.
Cortisol also affects the digestive system, reproductive system and
too much cortisol can even affect normal growth processes. Long term
activation of stressors in the body will disrupt almost all the body’s
So how can you minimize, or eliminate stress in the body?
Research has shown that magnesium, a mineral proven to calm and relax
your cells, also acts as a de-stressor. Magnesium also functions as a
de-toxifier, cleansing cortisol from the cells, provided that the body
has adequate amounts of the mineral.
Stress depletes magnesium; magnesium counter-acts stress. When
magnesium levels are low, the nervous system gets out of balance and the
muscles grow tight. This can also lead to elevated mental stress. At
the same time, any stress, whether mental or physical, will deplete
magnesium. Magnesium gained its name as nature's anti-stress mineral due
to its helpfulness in combating internal stress.
There are no shortages of symptoms that can suggest stress. The
American Institute of Stress publishes 50 Common signs and symptoms of
stress at http://www.stress.org/stress-effects/ and the Top 10 are:
- Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain
- Gritting, grinding teeth
- Stuttering or Stammering
- Tremors, trembling of lips and hands
- Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms
- Lightheadedness, faintness, dizziness
- Ringing, buzzing or popping sounds
- Frequent blushing, sweating
- Cold, sweaty hands and feet
- Dry mouth, problems swallowing
Most, if not all of these symptoms can also be signs of a magnesium
deficiency. Magnesium is known as the anti-stress mineral. One of
magnesium’s most important actions – when there is enough magnesium to
do its jobs – is to keep calcium outside the cells where it belongs.
Calcium moving into the centre of the cells when there is not enough
magnesium there to keep it out, has been shown to cause rigidity and
tension in the cell. This ‘dance’ between these two minerals can
de-stress the cell when they occur in the right balance. This critical
balance is why magnesium is also called The Twin Mineral to calcium,
and the Anti-stress mineral.
The American Institute of Stress (AIS) was founded by the famous
Canadian stress expert Hans Selye, MD. Dr. Selye estimates that 75 to
90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are due to
Below is a list of the body’s reactions to stress as outlined by AIS:
- Heart rate and blood pressure soar, increasing the flow of blood to the brain to improve decision making
- Blood sugar rises to furnish more fuel for energy as the result of
the breakdown of glycogen, fat, and protein stores caused by adrenalin
- Blood is shunted away from the gut, where it is not immediately
needed for digestion, to the large muscles of the arms and legs to
provide more strength in combat, or greater speed in fleeing a scene of
- Clotting occurs more quickly to prevent blood loss from lacerations or internal hemorrhage.
It is worth noting that magnesium addresses each of these body’s reactions:
- When blood pressure soars, the smooth muscles in the walls of your
blood vessels can go into spasm if you are magnesium deficient. This can
cause chronic hypertension
- When blood sugar rises, magnesium is responsible for insulin opening
up cell membranes to allow sugar into the cells. If you are
magnesium-deficient, blood sugar continues to rise and cells do not
- If the large muscles of the arms and legs are magnesium-deficient,
increased circulation can cause muscle cramping, irritability, and
restless leg syndrome
- Without enough magnesium, blood clotting can become enhanced leading to leg, lung, and brain clots.
Real inner balance is an expression of your body, mind and spirit,
but you can only get there if your magnesium is in balance in your